|Project Name||Polet Café||Posted in||Restaurants, Design, Interior Design||Opening Hours||Daily • 9am - 11pm | Weekends •10am - 12pm|
Khodynskiy Blvd. 2
|Project Team||Asthetíque||Official Website||Ресторан «ПОЛЕТ»|
Located at Khodynka Field, a decommissioned airfield just 7 kilometres from Moscow’s city centre which has been rebuilt as a commercial and residential development, Café Polet is a new restaurant that channels the site’s illustrious aviation history with a retro-futuristic interior by New York-based design studio Asthetique that combines the sleek modernism of the space age with the cinematic grandiosity of early sci-fi movies.
Officially named Frunze Central Aerodrome, the former airfield was at the core of Russia’s aviation industry from the early 20th century onwards when the first Russian powered flight took off from here. It was officially closed down in 2003, but since then the area has seen several large scale developments, including one of the largest shopping centres in Europe, a sports arena, a football stadium and the Russian National Air & Space Museum, as well as a new residential neighbourhood. Asthetique’s bold interior design of retro-futuristic sophistication manages to both pay homage to the site’s aeronautical heritage and encapsulate the area’s dynamic comeback.
Taking advantage of the restaurant’s high ceilings and huge windows, the designers have swathed the space in gleaming surfaces, from stainless steel surfaces, to brass finishes, to marble table tops, and incorporated several monumental objects such as a six-metre-high winged goddesses, black-birch angular panelling, and a towering concrete bas-relief depicting a plane taking off to “convey energy, speed, strength and dynamism” as Julien Albertini, co-founder of Asthetíque, explains. Inspired by Russian Constructivism, the monumental set-pieces reference the early days of Soviet aviation and at the same time enhance the sense that you’ve stepped onto a retrograde movie set – the faceted silver goddesses in particular seems to have come out of director Fritz Lang’s expressionist masterpiece ‘Metropolis’.
The nod to Russian Constructivism is combined with an abundance of aviation and space travel references that also speak of the technological aspirations of the Soviet state. Stainless-steel aircraft silhouettes are used both as décor and table numbers, spherical glass portholes allude to astronaut helmets, striped concrete flooring evokes airport runways, while flight related quotations adorn the walls of the private dining room - not to mention Café Polet’s name which in Russian means flight. Higher up, a plethora of suspended lights in the form of bronze and glass disks, deformed glass spheres and multi-armed chandeliers form alien planetary landscapes and squadrons of flying saucers.
The masculine sensibility of the angular architecture and hardness of the concrete, steel and marble surfaces is softened by velvet-upholstered chairs and armchairs in muted pastel hues, many of which were custom-designed, flowing curtains, ivy-covered trellises that separate the open-plan restaurant in distinct areas, and oak flooring.
This is the second collaboration between Asthetíque and restaurateur Kira Baybakova in Moscow after “The Y” restaurant and suffice it to say that once again the team have created a distinct eatery whose cool sophistication is underpinned by a sense of nostalgia.